The Truth in Legal Regulation
of Defamation Crime

The article relates to a concept of truth in the light of the legal regulation of
defamation crime (Articles 212 and 213 of the Criminal Code). The author describes
two issues: firstly the problem of distinguishing by Polish courts facts from
opinions from the point of view of the concept of truth in defamation trials, and
secondly the problem of criminal liability for true statements on the basis of the
defamation crime regulation. In his deliberations the author uses judgments of
the European Court of Human Rights, decisions of Polish courts as well as main
thesis of the criminal law doctrine and some opinions present in the public debate
about the legitimacy of defamation crime. The author comes to the following
conclusions. As far as the first issue is concerned, the author takes the view that
Polish courts, in defamation trials, do not distinguish facts (which truthfulness
can be proved) from opinions (which truthfulness cannot be proved) and as for
all statements they require to prove their truthfulness. As far as the second issue
is concerned, the author takes the view that on the basis of the defamation crime
regulation, it is possible to make someone criminally liable for true statements,
which is harmful and should be changed.

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Pobierz plik (13-2012 Lewandowski.pdf)13-2012 Lewandowski.pdf497 kB
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